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The Outer Worlds character build guide: Attributes, skills, and aptitude

So you’ve got your colonist in mind. You know exactly how you’ll coif their hair, what armor you’ll wear, even the weapons you’ll tote. But before you head out on your grand adventures across the cosmos, you should consider exactly what type of build you’re going for.

The Outer Worlds allows players to roll many different characters, from hammer-wielding rough and tumble types, to clever mechanics, turning droids and weapons on the enemy. This handy guide will walk you through attributes, skills, and aptitudes, to make your vision a reality.

Character Building in The Outer Worlds


Role-playing game fans will be familiar with selecting their base attributes. Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Perception are just some of the choices you’ll encounter. Each category will affect a multitude of skills. For example, Dexterity will affect your 1-handed melee, handgun skill, dodging, lock picking and sneak.

Make sure to check the range of skills each attribute will bolster, and take that into account. There are quite a few skill checks in the game, and performing below average in these checks will come with a penalty.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Once you’ve set your base attributes, players will invest points into distinct skill categories. Rather than merely sinking points into lock picking, for example, you’ll invest in the stealth category which also encompasses sneaking and lockpicking.

Dropping points into the Tech category will buff your Medical, Science, and Engineering stats. This grouping of stats allows for more distinct builds, making it easier to build a character that compliments your play style. Once you hit certain thresholds, you can begin to specialize in the distinct skills within each category.

A solid design choice, as it grants the player more granular control of their build at a later time in the game, once you know exactly what you need in terms of skills.


The Outer Worlds allows you to choose a pseudo-backstory in the form of Aptitude. These roles such as a cashier, factory worker, or medical technician reflect what you were or would have been, had the colony ship not been lost among the stars.

Each role comes with a deep description and an aptitude bonus perk. Selecting the electrician aptitude, for example, would give players a 3% resistance to shock damage.

If you’re looking to get into a few scraps, choosing the sous chef affinity will give you a +1 dexterity buff for those one-handed melee bouts. Make sure to read carefully through each aptitude and plan for your character accordingly!

Recommended Selections

For those of you looking to roll a sharpshooter, you’ll want to drop your initial attribute points into Intelligence for a buff to long guns (which include sniper rifles) and Dexterity, which bump up your handgun skills.

Strength is a skill you won’t want to ignore if you plan on toting a heavy machine gun, save some points for that attribute as well. And finally, Perception will play a major part in your headshot damage and weak point damage for all aforementioned weapon types.

Choosing to emphasize any one of these skills will benefit your combat abilities. You can combine these choices with the safety inspector aptitude for a great overall Gunner build!

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Perhaps “run and gun” isn’t your style, and you prefer more clandestine strategies. You’ll want to dump points into the Stealth and Ranged skill categories. This will allow you to hide in the shadows and strike from a distance, while your companions rush the enemy.

While there isn’t an aptitude choice that specifically buffs sneaking or lock picking, the Tossball Team Mascot choice will buff your inspiration, so calling on your companions to run into combat will be even more effective as you strike from afar.

As you level up in the mid-game, you will unlock more sneaky skills like speedier movement while crouching, and sneak attacks that ignore 50% of a target’s armor!

For the tinkerers among you, an engineering build would be quite effective. When creating your character, you should prioritize Intelligence and Engineering attributes. These categories will buff your science and engineering stats respectively.

With these stats raised, you’ll enjoy reduced crafting mat requirements when augmenting and repairing gear. Players who specialize in engineering also yield more materials when breaking down weapons and armor. The Elevator Operations Specialist aptitude will buff Engineering stats even further, so make sure to pair that with your build.

The early game is quite forgiving in terms of attribute choices and skill selections. Players will also find a respec machine on their ship that they can use at any time. The Outer Worlds promotes experimentation, so feel free to play around with your build. With a wide array of companions, you don’t have to worry about being a jack of all trades.

Alan Torres
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